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In New York, a business operating under a fictitious name will need to register a DBA.  Learn more about what a DBA is, who needs one and how to register.

What is a DBA?

A DBA, also known as “Doing Business As”, Trade Name, Assumed Name or Fictitious Name is a name used by a business, that is different from the legal name of the business.   

When a business wants to operate under a name other than their legal name, the state of New York, like most states, require the business to register their business name.  The registration requirement was designed to protect consumers from business owners hiding anonymously behind the name of a business.

Who needs to register?

The requirements and need to register for a Trade Name vary, depending on the type of business entity. 

Sole proprietorships and general partnerships are the most common entities to register for a DBA. 

The legal name of a sole proprietor or partnership can be the owner’s full first and last name, which can be used without registering.  For example, if John Smith starts a business repairing computers but doesn’t use a business name he doesn’t have to register.  If John decides to name his business John’s Computer Repair then he will need to register. 

Corporations and Limited Liability Companies won’t typically register a fictitious name since a unique entity name is created during the formation process.  Some will file for a DBA if they have another business they want to operate under their corporate/LLC umbrella to keep the liability protection without having to form another entity.

New York DBA Registration Form

Sole Proprietorships and LLCs will get a DBA form from the County Clerk’s office in every county where the business operates

Corporations and Limited Liability Companies – https://www.dos.ny.gov/forms/corporations/1338-f-l.pdf

How much does it cost to register?

Sole Proprietorships & Partnerships
The filing fee for the Assumed Name Certificate varies by county but typically varies between $25 and $35.

Corporations & LLCs
$25 for LLCs and limited partnerships. Corporation fees are $25 + $100 for each county within New York City (Bronx, Kings, New York, Queens, and Richmond Counties) and $25 for each county outside of New York City.

What are the steps to file a DBA in New York?

Sole Proprietorships & Partnerships

Step 1 – Verify Name Availability
Before filing a DBA, county records need to be searched to be sure no other business is using the name. Most of the counties have an online database to quickly search through.

 Step 2 – Obtain the Form
A form has to be obtained from every county where the business will operate.

Step 3 – Fill out the Form
Information requested on the form includes:

    • Name and address of owner
      • Age certification
      • Business address
      • Assumed name

Step 4 – Notarize the Form
Before filing the form, it needs to be notarized.  Most County Clerk’s offices have a notary on site at no cost.

Step 5 – Submit the Form
Submit the filing fee and form to the County Clerk.

Corporations & LLCs

Step 1 – Verify Name Availability
Every name registration must be different from the other names on record.  Before filling out the form, visit the Department of State’s Business Entity Database.

Learn how to do a name search in New York.   

Step 2 – Fill out the Form
Information requested on the form includes:

      • Legal name registered with the Department of State
      • Type of Business Entity
      • Assumed Name
      • Principal Place of Business
      • Counties where the business operates
      • Name of Signer
      • Capacity of Signer (officer, partner, member, manager)

Step 3 – Submit the Form
NYS Department of State
Division of Corporations
One Commerce Plaza
99 Washington Ave
Albany, NY 12231-0001

Name Restrictions

DBAs can’t be registered using words that are related to banking or too close to other names on record.

Protecting your business name

While registering your Trade Name will keep someone else from registering the exact same name in New York, it does very little from someone else operating a business under that name in other states.  If stopping others from using your business name is important, you can protect it through a trademark – See how to protect your name through a trademark.  

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